Friday, March 26, 2021

Horton Foote: The Road to Home (2020) Oxford FIlm Festival 2021


photo by Susan Johann

Director Anne Rapp worked on Tender Mercies  in 1983 and Horton Foote, the writer made such an impression that decades later she documented Foote’s final three years. Along the way she also spoke with the actors, filmmakers and colleagues that he worked with as well as the family loved him.

This film is so thorough in its painting a portrait of  its subject I would be surprised if anyone ever tried to do something similar. In all honesty as a portrait of the man and his work there is almost nothing left to say other than perhaps do a more detailed dive on individual plays or say his TV or film work. This is the bar by which all other portraits of Foote will be measured.

Being a theater geek I am a fan of Foote. I loved that he did these wonderful plays that attracted the best actors working on stage. I got to see so many of my favorite actors up close because they had to do a Horton Foote play.

And that is what makes this film so great, Rapp talks to everyone. From Edward Albee to Matthew Broderick to Elizabeth Ashley to Robert Duvall, they are all here. There are so many people here that I wasn’t sure when this film was done because some of the people interviewed have passed away.

This is a  wonderful film. It is a labor of love that moves and blossoms like a Foote play. In all seriousness my initial reaction  was this was going to be a by the numbers film but then it opened up and became something more.

Highly recommended

Horton Foote: The Road to Home plays at the Oxford Film Festival March 28th and then streams on demand April 1-7

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